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Hearing planned on ending Drew Peterson’s pension

Drew Peterswas found guilty last summer murdering his third wife Kathleen Savio.

Drew Peterson was found guilty last summer of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

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Updated: April 22, 2014 6:18AM



The Bolingbrook Police Pension Board on Thursday voted unanimously to hold a hearing on whether convicted killer Drew Peterson’s pension payments should be denied.

The five-member board had to make its decision on a hearing without being presented with any evidence on why Peterson’s $79,000 annual pension should be revoked.

The board’s attorney, Richard Reimer, said the board hired an outside attorney, Charles Atwell, to investigate if there was enough evidence to stop the payments, and Atwell had concluded that “there exists sufficient evidence.”

Peterson, 60, a former Bolingbrook officer and sergeant, was convicted in September 2012 of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004 in her Bolingbrook home while the couple were finalizing a bitter divorce. He is serving a 38-year prison term.

Peterson remains the prime suspect in the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, but has not been charged. He retired from the police force in 2007 while being investigated for Savio’s death and Stacy’s disappearance.

Peterson’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, argued against the pension board pursuing the revocation of his client’s pension.

“There’s nothing in the (murder) indictment alleging his actions involved his job as a police officer,” Greenberg said “... I don’t think there’s a basis for it (hearing). And I think it’s premature.”

“We hired Mr. Atwell for a purpose, and he came back with a recommendation,” pension board member Bob Jaskiewicz said before the vote. “I think we need to follow that for now.”

Reimer and Greenberg decided that Atwell should have up to 60 days to present Greenberg with the evidence against Peterson and Greenberg would then have 60 days to review the evidence and prepare his case — meaning that the earliest a hearing could be held would be late July.

Reimer said Peterson, imprisoned at the downstate Menard Correctional Center, would likely participate in the hearing via video conference.

Greenberg said he expects Peterson’s appeal of his murder conviction to be heard by the Illinois Appellate Court in the fall, and he feels strongly that the conviction could be overturned.

“If the case is overturned, all this is a waste,” he said.

Peterson’s adult son, Stephen, is the beneficiary of his father’s pension payments and is raising Peterson’s two young children from his marriage to Stacy. He attended Thursday’s meeting but declined to comment afterward.

Stephen Peterson was fired in 2011 as an Oak Brook police officer, a firing that the appellate court upheld in December. The Oak Brook Police and Fire Commission dismissed him on grounds that he failed to inform authorities that he had received and kept three guns and $236,000 cash from his father while Drew was being investigated for Stacy’s disappearance.



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